AEW Will Always Be #2 In Wrestling, Unless...

Dominik Mysterio Rhea Ripley Angie Rey Mysterio Valentine's Day

Cynical if you're a superfan, meaningless if you're a data-head and somewhere in the middle if you're a rational consumer of one or both shows, the reality remains that WWE is as much the "recognised leader in Sports Entertainment" as it was when that grandiose introductory video first hit the airwaves nearly 40 years ago.

And that's not something people think about anywhere near enough when comparing the companies either. WWE has decades and decades of content out there for better and worse, and most wrestling fans in the West find pro wrestling through it. Even those that quickly pivot to alternatives or go to their local indies instead start with the one that's easiest to find and easier still to drop into.

It's why, to this day, scripting still calls for Dominik Mysterio to refer to "his deadbeat Dad Rey Mysterio" during conversations with people that know this information. They believe you're too stupid to remember if you watch every week, or that you've never watched at all. Which, again, on the basis of their overwhelming success, is a strategy that hasn't failed the business even if its failed countless fans of all ages that don't want to be patronised.

This is yet again AEW fans typically don't have to worry about.


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Michael is a writer, editor, podcaster and presenter for WhatCulture Wrestling, and has been with the organisation over 7 years. He primarily produces written, audio and video content on WWE and AEW, but also provides knowledge and insights on all aspects of the wrestling industry thanks to a passion for it dating back over 30 years. As one third of "The Dadley Boyz", Michael has contributed to the huge rise in popularity of the WhatCulture Wrestling Podcast, earning it top spot in the UK's wrestling podcast charts with well over 50,000,000 total downloads. He has been featured as a wrestling analyst for the Tampa Bay Times and Sports Guys Talking Wrestling, and has covered milestone events in New York, Dallas, Las Vegas, London and Cardiff. Michael's background in media stretches beyond wrestling coverage, with a degree in Journalism from the University Of Sunderland (2:1) and a series of published articles in sports, music and culture magazines The Crack, A Love Supreme and Pilot. When not offering his voice up for daily wrestling podcasts, he can be found losing it singing far too loud watching his favourite bands play live. Follow him on X/Twitter - @MichaelHamflett